Document 10B: Charlotte Perkins Gilman to Aletta Jacobs, 11 January 1904, with 2-page lecturer flyer attached, ca. 1902

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman
179 West 76th Street, New York. U.S.A.

Jan. 11th 1904

Dear Dr. Jacobs;

   I am much pleased with what you tell me of the continued interest in my work in Holland; and hope it may continue from year to year as I add more books.

   Thank you for your kind invitation to visit you--perhaps I may take advantage of it.

   It has occurred to me that possibly I might lecture a little in England and Holland on my way to Germany for the [Berlin] Congress.[A] Can you tell me of what

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Bureau or Agency I might ask about this plan; or do you know of any person who could arrange a short series of lectures for me with a percentage of the profits for the last week in May perhaps, or the first week in June.

   I suppose prices are lower with you than with us. Here I get $50.00-$75.00 sometimes $100.00 for public lectures, and for small clubs a minimum of $25.00. If I could get six lectures--as near together as possible in Holland, I would do them for this minimum rate; and would be glad to give short addresses to womans clubs or churches free--little afternoon talks I mean.

   Then I could go pleasantly on to Germany from there--

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with some Dutch delegates perhaps.

   If you think this a feasible plan I will send on some lecture circulars.

   The main lines of my lectures work are these[:]

The Woman's Movement
The Child
The Home
The Nature of Work
The Social Organism
Social Ethics

   For this year I am planning a large new advance; a special lecture on the new phase of the Woman's Movement--which rests on Prof. Lester F. Ward's Gyneacocentric Theory.[B] This he has truly expounded in his last work, Pure Sociology. Macmillian Co. Publishers. You could get it from London no doubt. I consider this the most important

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contribution to the advance of woman ever given– not excepting my own theory, which I naturally think much of! I am going to speak on this subject at the Annual (Equal Suffrage) Convention in Washington this winter; and intend to make it my chief subject in Berlin. I am planning also a strong article on it for some of your leading magazines here; it is a tremendously important position.

   So that I could offer something distinctive and striking in the way of subject matter.

   I enclose an old circular[C]--it matters little what the lectures are called--it is all along the lines of applied sociology.

   Hoping to hear from you favorably on this matter.

Yours sincerely,
[signed]
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

 

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A. This conference of the International Council of Women was held in Berlin, June 6-11. 1904.
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B. Lester A. Ward (1841-1915) was a pioneering sociologist who advocated equal rights for women. He believed that social forces could be guided by human intelligence to achieve progress and rejected the then-dominant laissez-faire ideology of letting evolution take its own course. Ward promoted universal public schooling so that the public would have the knowledge needed to participate in a democratic society.
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C. This is probably a circular from the speakers' bureau that arranged for Gilman's speaking engagements. It is included at the end of the letter.
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